Iraqi militia warns US of consequences after late night air strike in Baghdad

Iraqi militia warns US of consequences after late night air strike in Baghdad
ID of murdered Iraqi military person following US drone strike in Baghdad. / CC: bne IntelliNews
By bne correspondent in Tehran February 8, 2024

Iraqi militia group Kata’ib Hezbollah on February 8 said the United States and other coalition forces in the region will be responsible for the consequences of the killing of two leaders of the group in a drone attack east of Baghdad, Alsumaria News reported.

Explosions were heard on Wednesday evening in the East of the Iraqi capital, which later turned out to be drone strikes by US forces on a car carrying four members of the Iraqi Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF), including two leaders and a driver.

The headquarters of the US Central Command, CENTCOM, officially claimed responsibility, saying the attack was carried out in response to the killing of American soldiers that Washington blames on Iran-backed militias in the region.

CENTCOM confirmed in a statement that one person was killed in the strike, claiming the person was involved in attacks against American forces in the region.

A major faction of the Iraqi mobilization forces, Kata’ib Hezbollah, later announced that two of its commanders, Wassam Mohammad Saber al-Sa’edi (Abu Baqir) and Arkan al-Aliawi, were killed in the missile attack along with two others in the car.

A spokesman for the group, Tahseen Alkhafaji, called it a “clear aggression and violation of Iraqi sovereignty” that undermines all existing understandings and has dangerous consequences for the region.

"We hold American and coalition forces responsible for the repercussions of these dangerous actions that threaten the security and safety of the country and clearly undermine all talks taking place between the two sides,” he said.

Tension between the US and militant groups in Iraq and Syria has increased following the war in Gaza.

An attack on an American military base near the Jordan-Syria border that killed three American soldiers prompted Washington to take retaliatory measures, which will constitute a series of attacks on Iranian-backed groups in the region.

In response, Tehran denied involvement in directing the groups, maintaining that they act independently which .